Oregon State Police (OSP) is asking again for the public’s help to identify the person or persons responsible for the late November rock throwing incident off an Interstate 5 freeway overpass south of Rice Hill in Douglas County that injured two people.
The families of two California residents and University of Oregon students have increased their reward offer from $1,000 to up to $2,500 for information provided to OSP that leads to an arrest and conviction in the investigation. The rock struck a passing vehicle’s windshield and hit a female driver’s face. After she was hit by the rock, the vehicle crashed injuring both her and the male passenger.
According to OSP Lieutenant Doug Ladd, on November 26, 10:40 p.m., a 1997 Subaru Legacy station wagon driven by Molly Grabill, age 20, from Poway, California, was northbound on Interstate 5 near milepost 146. As the vehicle approached the Isadore Road overpass, which has cyclone fencing erected to prevent objects from falling onto the freeway, a rock described as larger than a baseball came down from the overpass, smashing through the driver’s side windshield and hit Grabill in the face.
The car’s passenger, Chris Brewer, age 19, from Vista, California, grabbed the steering wheel to control the vehicle. He was unable to keep it under control as the vehicle traveled onto the shoulder and rolled on the freeway coming to rest facing the opposite direction.
Grabill was transported by ambulance to Sacred Heart Medical Center at Riverbend in Springfield for treatment of facial injuries. Brewer was also transported and he was treated and released for injuries sustained in the traffic crash.
Grabill was also released from the hospital two days after the incident. Both are University of Oregon students and members of the school’s track & field team.
Anyone with information about persons or vehicles near the mentioned location around the time of this incident is asked to call OSP Detective Tom Willis at (541) 440-3334 or the OSP Southern Command Center dispatch at (541) 440-3333.